“My heart sank. I realized this was the moment for her, the moment your innocence – not your physical innocence, but your emotional one – was lost. After that, you looked at the world more harshly and your heart was harder.”
What’s a girl to do when meeting The One means she’s cursed to die a horrible death?
Life hasn’t been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she’s irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can’t stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma’s been having the oddest dreams. Visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.
When I receive an e-copy of this book from netgalley I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I waited for awhile until Rachel reviewed this on her site which finally push me to start reading the book. Based on her review, I anticipated a fairytale novel in a modern world with this one. But as I start reading I’m not really sure if the expectations fit, though all those expectations were lost in mist as I am pull inside the world like I am under a spell. After few chapters I am convinced that it is not the fairytale I assume it should be but nevertheless I enjoy the story as much a kid enjoy reading her first fairytale.
Then the back story came in, the fairytale I am expecting suddenly shows up just after I lost my hopes for a fairytale read, which makes me more delighted. I enjoy the story behind the charm necklace and how it was entwined to the present. Reading those parts makes me travel into a land of fairytales once again. There were Prince, Princess, castles, wicked-witch, spells and a curse. When I read the curse part and the reincarnation storyline it reminds me of the Luce and Daniel (Fallen series) love story – a love that is doomed once they met. But comparing the two books is unnecessary because Spellbound has its own charm.
Usually I’m sceptical with the “star-crossed lovers” plot but this one was redeemed by believable characters. They were strong enough to overcome clichés and predictable plot. Brendan and Emma were spellbinding couple portrayed like a real teenager and not some out of age reincarnation from past.
Emma is a strong, caring & selfless girl. Sometimes she acts more mature than her age but still believable because losing the people she loves most will surely make her grow up faster. Despite of her looming past she is still left untainted. She’s vibrant, hopeful, funny and sees good things around her. She stands up for what she believe in and she does everything in her power to protect her little cousin Ashley, even if it means picking a fight with a guy twice her size. And I love her for doing that even it’s so foolish of her.
Brendan is a swoon worthy guy. With his rock star good looks, pearcing green eyes, sexy hair, smouldering and loner aura it’s easy to understand why Emma is drawn to him. But more than his good looks he is also sweet and total gentleman which can make you feel like you are a princess. He is a tough bad-boy in front of other people but with Emma he’s so gentle and sweet. Inspite of being overly rich he doesn’t brag about it. He’s not arrogant like most of the students in Vincent Academy who always throwing their family names around.
Then there is Cisco, a bestfriend you’ll just wish you have. I love this guy and I wish there is more of him in this book. Ashley, Emma’s little cousin is a sweet girl. I’d love to have her around me everyday she seems cool and lovely. The antagonist Kristin and Anthony were a bit cliché but works fine with the plot.
The development of Brendan & Emma’s relationship is slowy developed, it never feels rushed and seems real. The connection between them is clear right away because of the soul-mate plot but they are not just thrown into each other for some old romance continuation. The author took the time to develop their relationship at a reasonable pace.
The writing was fast-paced, there’s always something happening which held my interest from start to end. The prose were gorgeous (though sometimes repetitive). The lines where fun to read especially Emma’s snarky one liner. I find myself constantly cracking and smiling while reading. The underlying element of magic and legends throughout the story wasn’t overpowering but opens more roads for a possible sequel.
Spellbound is an entertaining sweet read. It is sprinkled with bits of humour, touch with sweet moments and charmed with magic and legends. If you love your fairytale stories you’ll surely enjoy this one. A charming debut novel from Cara Lynn Shultz that will make you spellbounded!